Creepy, crawly, crunchy: Can insects feed the future?

As CIDD graduate students, we think about insects as vectors of disease, but we don’t always consider other important attributes of insects: like how tasty they might be. Many insects are edible and considering their use as a novel livestock may help combat problems in obtaining global food security.

Why should we worry about food insecurity? We live on a hungry planet. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that 805 million people are chronically undernourished. Projections of food requirements and population growth suggest that we would need to increase current global food production by 70 percent to keep up with demands for human food by 2050. We could also shift paradigms in food production to incorporate novel sources of food. Are insects the livestock of the future?

On Tuesday, April 21 a panel discussion will be held to discuss the merits of using insects as nontraditional livestock to help feed our globe. Let’s eat more bugs. The discussion will be focused on using insects as a human food source, with particular focus on the barriers to insect-rearing, and insect-eating or “entomophagy”, in the developed and developing world.

The panelists are Robert (Bob) Anderson, founder of Sustainable Strategies LLC and advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Florence Dunkel, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture at Montana State University, Dr. Dorothy Blair, a former assistant professor of Nutrition at Penn State, and Dr. Alyssa Chilton, a Penn State staff sensory scientist in the Department of Food Science. Florence has an interesting TEDx talk which can be found here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

12 – 1:30 p.m.

Foster Auditorium

Paterno Library

About johannaohm

Jo Ohm is a trail runner and scientist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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